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5 Oct 2008 Issue

1. Sermon by Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
2. Activist Outreach
3. PETA Seeking Convictions for “Culture of Cruelty
4. The Peaceable Table, October Issue


1. Sermon by Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Tempests in Teapots

2. Activist Outreach

CVA member Joe Stephen writes: On Sunday, Sept. 21, my family visited a church where they had mass for teens. A group of teens happened to see my van's bumper sticker that read "Vegetarianism Honors God's Creation.”

They spoke to me and mentioned that the sticker was awesome and they were vegetarians too. I told them about our group and pointed to the web site. I also gave each of them handful of our booklets to share with their friends and they said they would gladly do that and also check out website.

3. PETA Seeking Convictions for “Culture of Cruelty

"Hurt' em! These (expletives) deserve to be hurt. Hurt, I say!" "Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! Hurt! ... Take out your frustrations on 'em," a worker yells while beating a pig with a metal rod and encouraging an undercover investigator to do the same.

One worker tells the investigator that he shoves a rod into the anuses of pigs. Other acts revealed on footage filmed by two investigators include a bloody pile of piglets who are still moving after their heads were slammed onto concrete, piglet castration and tail amputation without anesthesia, and a pig who had had paint sprayed into her nostrils and all over her face [see: http://tinyurl.com/3fufnr ].

From June into September, investigators from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) worked at the Iowa breeding facility after a whistleblower told the organization about conditions there. The facility, which is a supplier to Hormel Foods, was owned by Natural Pork Production II LLP until mid-August when it was transferred to MowMar LLP.

Many within the pig industry, including MowMar, quickly condemned the acts. "These people are sick," said Temple Grandin [ http://www.Grandin.com ].

The Iowa Farm Bureau said its members were “shocked, appalled and disgusted,” and called for the abusers to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law [http://tinyurl.com/3qjr2s ].

"This is a wakeup call for the industry,” stated Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, “It is frustrating because of the resources the industry has poured into education and training.”

Animal agriculture advocate Trent Loos said: “[I]t is easy to pick on PETA, but in this case, the group did animal agriculture a favor. I have to wonder, though, why it took the assistance of an organization with a vegan agenda to stop this ongoing display of disrespect toward animals?”
[ http://tinyurl.com/4dbacn ].

Industry officials also questioned the three months that passed from the time the video was shot to when it was reported.

MowMar, a “family owned farm operation with over 30 years in the swine business,” said it provided animal welfare training to the staff when it took over the farm. It has fired two employees as a result of the video’s release. PETA requested the immediate termination and prosecution of any employee who abuses animals, protection for undercover investigators who go public with the abuse, a ban on all shocking devices, the installation of cameras in animal housing areas, annual animal welfare audits –the results of which be made public-- and a phase-out of sow gestation stalls by 2011.

Representatives of Suidae Animal Health, the veterinary group that manages the facility, agreed to immediately adopt some of the measures and are considering others during an internal investigation. PETA is also seeking the prosecution of 18 people for animal cruelty. The organization t is using the investigation to pressure Hormel to demand that its suppliers ensure better treatment of pigs, and to try to get legislation requiring federal oversight of farmed animal production.

"This isn't about one farm, of course - it's about a culture of cruelty that exists everyplace we go undercover on a factory farm or slaughterhouse," said PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "...anyone eating factory-farmed meat is paying to support it."

See also Hog hell: Investigators Uncover Shocking Abuse at Pig Farm: http://tinyurl.com/4qrh78.

4. The Peaceable Table, October Issue

Contents include:

* The Editorial, "Whatever One Sows," continues the exploration of life after death begun in a three-part editorial in 2006. In this essay we focus on the implications of the Empathic Life Review, a powerful and life-changing element in certain Near-Death Experiences. Those who went through this experience felt all the consequences of everything they had done in their lives--to other persons and to animals. They learned that not only humans but all beings are laced together in oneness.

* One of the NewsNotes tells of two teenagers who cared enough about the pigs they had been raising to refuse to let their story end in a slaughterhouse.

* Activist Maru Vigo writes a Letter describing her visit to the Lima convent where the beloved saint and pioneer Martin de Porres lived.

* A Gem, from the writings of Frederick Douglass, shows that for him prayer was inseparable from action.

* Try this relatively easy recipe for a wonderful butternut squash soup--your taste buds and your body will reap the benefits!

* In My Pilgrimage, reviewer Benjamin Urrutia gives us an update on his current thought regarding Jesus' probable involvement in the world's first major civil disobedience action (having to do with sowing and the power of the weak), as well as the rewards of eating as conscience dictates.

We always welcome letters, "My Pilgrimage" narratives, and other submissions.

To read this issue, go to http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue47.html

Let us sow compassion, that someday there may be a harvest of liberty and justice for all beings.

Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor.

Your question and comments are welcome

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